About Me

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Atlanta, GA, United States
When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995 and have been music director at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation since 2011.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Creating My Own Gigs

This December has been a great month for gigs, and surprisingly, January is nearly booked as well. In general, I'm finding that I'm booked for a gig on any given weekend each month. There is a downside to this…well, not exactly a downside. I play with a few different people, and I've had to learn a different set of music for nearly every show this month. Even though I'm playing mostly Christmas music, I'm playing the same songs in different keys, different tempos, and different styles. This is a great way to learn to be flexible and expand my horizons, but it's also a lot of work to keep up with. With limited preparation time, I feel like I've had barely enough time to do an adequate job for any given show.

The upside to this is that I feel that I've become a better overall guitar player over the past few weeks. The downside is that I feel scattered and unfocused.

Next year, rather than play a bunch of different gigs over the holidays, I'd like to create a show that I can either take to different venues or play in one place for a holiday run. I would like to make a transition from playing restaurant and corporate gigs to putting shows together…creating my own gigs. Most musicians are doing what I'm doing now, chasing after the same types of gigs. By creating my own shows, I could collaborate with other types of artists and expand my possibilities. I'm sure this would take more effort on my part, but I think it would be worth it.

The reason I'm thinking about a holiday show for next year is that it gives me plenty of time to kick around some ideas, and it would be probably be easier to create and promote a Christmas show for starters. After that, I could start developing other types of shows. I imagine that I would begin with only one or two shows a year. After gaining experience and developing a network of collaborators and contacts, maybe I could do more.

For now, I just want to get through December. Starting in January, I'll start kicking around ideas. We'll see what happens!

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